Evansville city officials are mulling possible tweaks to the city’s Good Neighbor Ordinance which was passed in 2014. City Council President Missy Mosby (D-2nd Ward) tells Eyewitness News the ordinance, which is intended to weed out troublesome tenants, could be expanded upon to include more drug crimes and resisting law enforcement as offenses that could lead to eviction.
The ordinance established a three tiered system which included crimes that could lead to a tenant’s eviction. Serious crimes, including rape, burglary and robbery, could lead to a tenant’s automatic eviction. Lesser crimes like disorderly conduct and other nuisance violations are under the ‘three strike’ rule.
So far, 55 tenants have gone through the eviction process as a result of the Good Neighbor Ordinance, Mosby said.
“If you’re not doing anything illegal, you’ll be just fine. But if you are doing something illegal, we have an ordinance that can help the neighborhood survive,” Mosby said.
Late last year, council members, police officers and property owners met to discuss the positives and negatives about the ordinance. As a result of those discussions, Mosby said she intends the amend the ordinance to include possession of all types of drugs, drug paraphernalia and resisting arrest on the list of offenses that could lead to an eviction. The amended ordinance will be the subject of the mayor’s traveling city hall meeting at Washington Middle School on March 30th.
“We also would like a way of notifying the police department when the hearing is going to take place on that eviction because they have a file and some information that might be helpful in that case,” Mosby said.
The ordinance has also gotten the attention of neighboring communities, Mosby said. Earlier this year, the town of Chandler in Warrick County adopted a similar ordinance. Mosby said she’s had conversations with officials in Mt. Vernon and Henderson, Kentucky about the ordinance.
“We’re running bad people into different areas and they don’t want it either,” Mosby said.